Hampi – Where a million stories come alive

Post is written by admin on : 2019-06-06

The typical version of Hampi’s history starts with a popular folklore.
Two local chieftains, Hakka & Bukka , reports to their guru an unusual sight they saw during a hunting expedition. A hare chased by their hound suddenly turns courageous and start chasing back the hound. Vidyaranya, the guru, tells them that the place is so special and asks them to establish theirs local capital at this place. The seed of an empire was sown.
Over the next 200 plus years (1336 AD – 1565 AD) four dynasties ruled Vijayanagar the City of Victory.

The capital grew in wealth, size and splendour, and became one of the largest trading centres of the world. The markets in Hampi were always crowded with merchants from all over the world to barter their goods in exchange of spices and cotton, grown abundantly in the area. Rubies, diamonds and all precious stones were sold on the streets in the scale of seers. Gold and silver were the currencies.

Art and architecture found its special place in Hampi. The rulers were great patrons of art and religion. Most of the kings associated names of their favorite gods with their names. Some of the kings were renowned for their ambitious projects. The kingdom reached its zenith during the reign of Krishna Deva Raya (1509-29), when international trade flourished under progressive commercial practices and foreign trade agreements. And by this time Vijayanagara Empire covered the whole of south India and beyond.

After seeing its golden reign during King Krishna Deva Raya (AD 1509 – 1529), Hampi fell down to the attacks of the five Sultans of Deccan – Bidar, Bijapur, Golconda, Ahmednagar and Berar in the year 1565. The city was looted for a period of 6 months. The temples were destroyed and the markets were plundered. The golden empire had come to an end The area came under many kings from time to time with the flow of history. But it was no more considered strategic and hence neglected. The heartbreak of the 1565 defeat can still be seen in the ruins of the imperial city.

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